The Early Years


    As the sun came up over the small Irish mining town of Halifax, New Hampshire, a tiny cry was heard.  The sound came from the lungs of the newborn Theodore Vicarus* Roosevelt, who was born on November 3, 1834.  His mother, Mary Roosevelt, nearly died from complications caused by the delivery, but recovered.  Father Jameson Philgrave was a miller, by all accounts a withdrawn but hardworking man.  Theodore would later praise his father as being "A fine and shining example to me in my darkest hours."  Jameson, who went by J. Philgrave, also instructed young Theo in the art of piano playing, something of a man-wife role reversal at the time.  This is not to say that Roosevelt's mother had no influence on his character and worth, however.  Splitting time between young Theodore and her other twelve children (D. Philcox, R. Radley, R. Jameson, David, B. Entley, Molly, and six others whose identities are argued to this day), the elderly Mary Roosevelt was still able to instill a sense of values in her son.  Unfortunately, she succumbed to insanity at the age of fourty-seven and soon died in what was assumed to be a suicidal jump from a fishing wharf five miles from Halifax.  Young Theodore was hurt but not discouraged by his mother's death, and he and older brother D. Philcox helped their father raise and hold together the family.

    Back to the Outline